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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 15: Hodur

In the Lore, which is what we heathens call the body of literature collectively chosen by the heathen community as our canon, Hodur is either Baldur's brother or his human rival for Nanna or both.  In the story in which Hodur and Baldur vie for the affections of Nanna, which ends with Baldur both winning the girl and getting killed, there are three basic versions in the lore. The lore has two stories in which Hodur and Baldur are brothers and a different story in which Hodur is a human warrior. In only one of these stories is Loki even a character in the story. In the non-Loki stories, Hodur and Baldur fight with swords. In the story with Loki, Baldur dies in a mock sacrifice that turns into a real one when weapons that can’t hurt him are hurled at him but one of them is magically turned into a lethal weapon. This weapon is made of mistletoe, the only substance which his mother has not made to promise not to hurt him—she made everything else promise because of a prophetic dream he had. This story is in one way a story about self fulfilling prophecy, and in another way about the nature of a sacrificed god who is also prophesied to rise again as king in the next universe.

Now, the novel gnosis: The reason Frigga did not bother asking mistletoe not to harm Baldur is because mistletoe was his own sacred plant. She must have not it wasn’t necessary to ask. But of course that is what also makes it perfect for a sacrificial ritual. Mistletoe is a liminal plant, neither of earth nor of air but partaking of both. It blooms and produces berries but they are poisonous. It grows without roots, and is green in the winter when its host tree is dormant. It’s a bundle of paradoxes, which is what makes it sacred. That is Baldur’s symbol when he is alive. But after his death, his symbol is the ox-eye daisy.  Daisies in general are also a symbol of the dead.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 8: Fenris

Fenris the wolf is the son of Loki and Angrboda. In the Lore he is prophesied to help destroy the world at Ragnarok, so the gods bind him.

Fireverse Fenris and Jormungandr have beast shapes because Loki is a shape shifter. In the Fireverse, Odin is aware of the prophecy about Fenris, and that is the main reason he gives Fenris to Tyr and Zisa to raise, to try to keep Fenris under control. Zisa already has an affinity for dogs because Fireverse Zisa is the same goddess as Nehallenia. Tyr and Zisa raise Fenris in their home as their foster son. It is a great tragedy when the gods decide Fenris has gotten too big—in the way that Ymir got too big, so that allowing him to keep growing would mean he would eventually eat the whole universe—and they decided to bind Fenris. The main person behind the decision to act when they did was Odin. Fenris regards his binding as a betrayal by his father figure Tyr. Fenris still loves Zisa but he is permanently mad at Tyr. Zisa still feeds Fenris; she catches fish in her nets in her fishing boat (she no longer sails her war boat) and brings them to his island where he is bound and she dumps her nets out on the beach, where he can just reach them.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 5: Bragi

Bragi is the god of music. He is married to Idunna, whose apples keep the gods from aging.

Fireverse-Bragi is probably pretty different than the Bragi of this universe, because the Fireverse needed a character within Asgard society that would actively oppose the teller of the story, who was Loki, and the opposition character became Bragi. Loki is usually cast as the opposition character in most traditional tellings of the mythology, but of course he would not cast himself in that role.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 3: Asgard

Asgard is not really a three dimensional physical space, but in the Fireverse it has a geography suitable for the human to whom the story is told to understand. The World Tree can be reached from the top of a hill. It’s not growing out of the hill but is next to it and Odin is able to grasp one of the branches in order to hang from the tree. From that hill, one can look sheer down into forever. On one side of that hill there is a cliff with a stone seat carved into the hillside. There is a little foot path to the seat. This is Odin’s seat of seeing. From there, he can look into Jotunheim, or Midgard, or wherever. Just in front of this throne, the path broadens a bit and there is a short wall at the cliff edge, just right for Odin’s ravens to perch on.

On the other side of the hill stands Valhalla. It is just as described in lore, made out of spears and shields and having many doors and the Einherjar within, and a pig of unlimited bacon, and a goat whose milk is mead, and the triple throne where High, Just As High, and Third sit and rule. These are Odin, Honir, and Loki. Honir does not have a physical form unless he is manifesting between Odin and Loki. He sometimes manifests in the middle throne while Odin and Loki are both in their thrones. Odin sits in the sky throne, that is, the throne of air. Loki’s throne is fire and water. Honir’s throne is earth and ice. Just as it says in lore, the Einherjar go out and fight all day and then are resurrected and party all night in Valhalla. So, the Einherjar are not there during the day. In the Fireverse, Odin holds court in Valhalla in the day, with a lunch for any gods who want to drop in; when he’s not there all these processes continue to happen.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 26: Njord

Njord is a sea god in heathen mythology. He is the father of Freya and Freyr. The lore does not say who their mother is, but it is hinted that it might be himself, or his counterpart. That would be Nerthus, except that Nerthus and Njord never appear in the same story. Nerthus appears in lore written by Tacitus in the Roman era, and Njord appears in lore written in the Viking Age. Linguistically the name Nerthus probably became the name Njord, and thus, Nerthus the goddess probably became Njord the god.

In Viking Age heathen mythology, Njord was briefly married to Skadi, the frost giantess who became a goddess of winter. That story took place in Asgard, though, and Njord, Freya, and Freyr all settled in Asgard as adults, with the status of hostages after the First War. So, Skadi is a stepmother, and after the divorce, a former stepmother. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Authentic Viking Tattoos?

 

A frequently asked question is: How do I get an authentic Viking tattoo? There are lots of art designs that Asatruars and other heathens wear, but if you you want something historically accurate to the Viking Age, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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